New Delhi: As a kid, one of my favourite toy cars was a scale model of a Gypsy which was given to me and even today, it is parked on my desk and is a reminder that I need to get one someday. The old Gypsy was and will be an icon that is also loved by our armed forces but the civilian version has long been taken away from the showroom floor. So if like me, you are bound by nostalgia, is there any modern equivalent? Turns out there is but the new generation Jimny has long been one of the mythical car launches that somehow does not happen finally.
Thing is, it might happen soon but after being shown at the last Auto Expo and taking so long to come, we took matters into our own hands or rather one person who imported an example into India. Thanks to that generous owner we finally had a taste of what to expect when the Jimny lands in a Nexa showroom near you. However, it might not be in the form that you see here is expected to be in five-door form and have some changes. That said, it does serve as a tempting first look at why this could be one of the hottest new car launches to wait for.
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This is the 3-door version with a very small footprint but it does pack a punch nevertheless. In the flesh, it looks fantastic and not just because of this loud shade but also the proper old-school charm and the upright stance. It is just cool and I hope the five-door version carries that same message across design-wise.
Some design bits are recognizable from the Gypsy with the rugged grille design and round headlamps while the massive wheel arches are also big in the traditional SUV sense. This is no usual compact SUV stuff. The underpinnings are different too and that is the key to Jimny’s appeal. This is no Heartect but a proper ladder frame chassis and a 3-link rigid axle suspension along with the AllGrip Pro 4WD (not to be confused with AllGRIP AWD on the Grand Vitara).
The ‘2WD-high’, ‘4WD-high’ and ‘4WD-low’ modes point towards serious off-road ability while its tiny size is also another USP. Ground clearance of 210mm along with approach/departure/breakover angles which are better than much more expensive off-roaders suggests what a talented off-roader it is despite the diminutive size. In other words, it is the proper successor to the Gypsy which served as a compact yet fun off-roader but unlike that old Gypsy, the new Jimny also comes with modern luxuries.
I love the design of the instrument cluster and how cool it is along with the switches across the dashboard with pretty good quality all around. It is tiny though but inside it is not cramped in the 3-door version you can only carry a toothbrush if you’re on a road trip with no luggage space at all.
India will get the 1.5l petrol but with a 6-speed auto/5-speed manual expectedly rather than the 4-speed on the car here the Jimny is not about straight line speeds but is a fun car focused on being rugged and working well where the road ends.
In India, the Jimny will sell in huge numbers going by how much attention this car draws and off-road ability along with the coolness that this SUV has is enough for it to be a mainstream success. Let us hope there isn’t much waiting to do anymore.
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